Multiple lightning strikes were reported in Farmington late Wednesday, including one that sparked an attic fire that displaced four families.

The fire at Blueberry Hill Apartments on North Street was reported at 4:48 p.m..

“The fire was pretty much contained to the attic area, but there was substantial damage to the building,” said Capt. Tim Hardy Thursday. Two units near the attic sustained heavy fire damage and all the units were damaged by water or smoke.

The four unit building had 13 tenants who were all assisted by the American Red Cross with shelter for the night and other needs.

Jennifer Gaylord, executive director of the area chapter of the American Red Cross, said case workers will talk to each tenant and figure out what the individual needs are. She said the service is a temporary assistance program that helps with immediate needs and hotel nights.

The organization sometimes also joins with other agencies, municipalities and general assistance money to new homes tenants that might be displaced from the apartments long term.

“A lot of times we find only one or two apartment tenants are permanently displaced, while everybody else is able to get back in after a temporary leave,” she said. “A lot of times it is not as overwhelming as it looks at first.”

It took about two hours for all emergency crews to clear the area, but the fire was under control in around 30 minutes.

While firefighters contained the flames, Hardy said the fire crews estimated the damage to the building at close to $100,000.

“Water can just as much damage as fire,” he said.

Just before lightning hit the home, another strike was reported at Walmart on Wilton Road.

A television set apparently shorted during a lightning strike, but Hardy said there was no fire and firefighter response was limited to checking the area.

Firefighters from East Dixfield, Chesterville, Temple, Industry, Wilton, Jay, New Sharon, New Vineyard and Strong responded to the fire.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]


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